No matter where you live in New Zealand, if you get into trouble, help from above is probably closer than you think.

Westpac is launching its Chopper Appeal Month to celebrate and support the nation's rescue helicopters, which flew 7,374 missions nationwide last year.

That includes 357 flights in the Manawatū-Whanganui region, from the outskirts of Palmerston North, to the walking tracks of Ruahine Forest Park.

The chopper appeal aims to raise funds and awareness for the rescue helicopter services, with all donations going back to the region where they were collected.


Westpac NZ general manager of consumer banking and wealth Simon Power said accidents can happen anywhere, including close to home.

"Chopper country extends from our rugged mountain ranges and sweeping coastlines to right over the back fence," he said.

"Whether it's a medical event on a ski slope or a crash on a bike trail just down the road, choppers are there for Kiwis when something unexpectedly goes wrong.

"It's comforting to know that help is close by, no matter where we are. That's why we're proud to have partnered with the choppers for more than 35 years."

A total of $1.22 million was raised last year and the goal is to beat that in 2019.

The 15th annual Westpac Chopper Appeal is supported by fundraising activities in schools and community centres, as well as a nationwide street appeal on Thursday, May 9.

Westpac funds the marketing and administration costs of the appeal and distributes all of the funds raised back to the rescue helicopter trust of the donors.

You can visit the chopper appeal website to donate, as well as visiting your local Westpac branch or by texting your postcode to 2449 to make a $3 donation.

Westpac is the principal sponsor of the Auckland, Waikato, Wellington and Canterbury Westpac rescue helicopters.


The annual Westpac Chopper Appeal helps raise funds for all regional rescue helicopter services around New Zealand.